Guidelines for research using the Introductory Psychology subject pool:
Subjects have the right to expect that any information collected as part of their participation in the study is confidential and anonymous unless otherwise agreed upon in advance.
Each experimenter must provide, in writing, a brief but informative description of the experimental procedure, the expected duration of the subject's participation, a description of any reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts to the subject, the foreseeable benefits of participation, as well as assurance that the subject is free to withdraw from the experiment at any time without penalty. The subject is usually required to sign this informed consent form prior to participation in any study.
Since subjects are participating as part of a course requirement, they must derive something of educational value from their research experience. The researcher is required to debrief the subject immediately following participation or after completion of the study if immediate debriefing might bias future subjects.
Experimental credit will be defined by the instructor and may involve simply participating in the experiment, or writing a paper describing the research experience. Although it may be legitimate within the context of a study to award prizes, monetary rewards, colored beads, and so on, this should not be mentioned prior to sign up because it may affect enrollment for other studies. No experimental credit is given to students when an experiment is conducted during regular class time for the purpose of class demonstration.
All research proposals using students or staff at Davidson College must be approved by the Davidson College Institutional Review Board (IRB) and must comply with APA's Ethical Principles in the Conduct of Research with Human Participants.
Researchers must meet all subjects who sign up for their experiments and remain available until they are finished. After completing the informed consent form, students should be asked to sign a participation record form in order to report their participation to their instructor. "No Shows" should also be recorded on this form. These are students who signed up for a study and did not cancel by contacting the researcher at least three hours in advance.
All participants must be given the most complete debriefing possible at the end of the study. This communication should be a clear and interesting communication in as nontechnical terms as possible.
Additional details on research participation by Psychology 101 students.